The moa, NZ national symbol

The fame of the moa and the fact that its size made it a world-beater gave it the brief status of national symbol briefly in the 19th century. In the 1890s, New Zealand was ‘the land of the moa’, and of 103 entries for a new national coat of arms in 1906–8, 28 included moa. Moa also featured on commercial logos, and in cartoons to represent New Zealand. Its iconic status did not last, however, and was soon replaced by the kiwi.

The moa and the lion.  The fame of the moa’s size briefly turned it into a national symbol. This postcard was issued in 1905 to represent the extraordinary success of the New Zealand All Black rugby team during its tour of England that year.

More information.